• Medford residents say they're overloaded with plane noise from Logan

    By: Kirsten Glavin

    Updated:

    MEDFORD, Mass. - People living in cities surrounding Logan Airport tell Boston 25 News that the loud plane noise in their neighborhoods has become unbearable.

    "We can’t plan to have a barbecue or have people over outside because you don’t know when it’s going to happen, and it’s so loud that you cannot have a conversation," said Medford resident Kathleen Rourke on Monday. 

    Rourke says airplanes leaving Logan Airport fly over her house so frequently the loud noise has become too much.

    "It's unbearable," Rourke said. "There are days when we as a family can’t eat dinner uninterrupted, we can’t watch TV without turning it up really loud and I worry about the health of my children."

    She's not alone. About 25,000 noise complaints have been filed with Massport this year, according to Medford Mayor Stephanie Burke.

    "We know we live close to Logan and we know that means we will endure some plane noise, however, we’re really looking for equitable distribution," Burke said. 

    She said flight routes are so condensed in certain communities, she believes they need to be dispersed.

    "We don’t want to send planes to someone else," Mayor Burke said. "However, if a couple of planes do go over the city of Malden in a day and that takes away a couple from Medford, then it’s not a burden to any one community or part of a city."

    While MIT continues a study on flight patterns and local impacts, representatives from cities like Medford are working on a community advisory board with Massport to vet potential solutions.

    "So far, it sounds like there would be distribution within the current footprint, so in other words, there wouldn’t be new towns getting dramatically new noise," Medford's Massport Community Advisory Committee Representative Peter Houk said. “It’s the first study of its kind to be done in the nation, so I think the FAA is going out a little on a limb here, trying something to see what the results will be. And there’s not another community in the country that’s been able to trigger a study like this.”

    While cities like Somerville and Cambridge are also affected, the Mayor said she believes communities will come together to share the burden.

    "Really, we just want them to disperse it equally so that we all feel a bit of pain, but not enough that it’s really disrupting our lives," Mayor Burke said. 

    According to Houk, the surrounding cities need to come together and decide what they want to recommend to the FAA. The FAA would then decide if that’s enough to trigger an environmental study, which could potentially take years.

    September 18 at 6 p.m., Somerville Administration and City Council Committee on Public Health and Public Safety are co-hosting a public hearing where people can share testimony about the noise.

    October 23 at 6 p.m., there will be a meeting to talk about updates on noise complaints at MacGlynn Middle School in Medford.

    You can track flights and report noise complaints here.

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